British retailers suffered their worst December since the start of the recession in 2014, according to new figures out today.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG have announced a like-for-like sales decline of 0.4% from December 2013, when they had increased 0.4% on the preceding year.
On a total basis, sales were up 1.0%, against a 1.8% rise in December 2013, resulting in the slowest December growth since December 2008.
David McCorquodale, head of Retail at KPMG blames extensive discounting for disrupting the timing and rhythm of Christmas spending.
"Between Black Friday and Boxing Day retailers and consumers engaged in a three week dance, each waiting for the other to take the lead and as a result sales suffered,” he said.
"It’s now clear that Black Friday did pull festive sales forward into November, and this created a challenging lull in spending with consumers waiting for future bargains.”